Tuesday, 27 December 2016

MMM Global or AIM Global? Which Should You Choose?


Today I want to answer a question that is often asked by lots of young Nigerians I know:

They want to know whether to invest their time and money in MMM; or whether it is wiser join the AIM Global business.

This got me to do a lot of research on the subjects. I refused to let my judgment be clouded by the opinions of those who were either fanatics or foes of the business ventures. 

So if you are one of those people that are asking this same question, then please read on....


Should You Join MMM or AIM?

I will first of all ask you to consider the following arguments:

1) Will your choice of one destroy your chances with the other?

2) Are you trying to build a long term career, or are you just looking for quick money?

3) What were your plans before you heard about AIM Global and MMM Global? 


MMM Investment Opportunity


MMM requires that you log in with your mobile phone or email address. This is the same as most other websites including AIM Global. The only difference is that many of the mmm websites that we found on Google search sent us immediately to a login page without giving us any information whatsoever. Needless to say, this is something that our digital marketing experts find to be fishy. Also worth mentioning is that fact that our anti-virus software warns us against clicking on the link the mmm global website from Google search results page.


But other than this, MMM seems to be by far the more popular of the two in Nigeria. 
It promises 30% on every amount that you pay to another person in the MMM community that "needs help". They describe MMM as a network that matches people who need help with those who give help. 

But when you look at it properly, you will quickly see that the 30% incentive given to the "giver" makes MMM a quick investment opportunity.


MMM's popularity is based on this 30% investment opportunity. It is a fast way to make some quick cash, if you trust the MMM matching software.




AIM Investment Opportunity

However, AIM Global is a different kind of investment opportunity that requires the investor to actively build his AIM business.Unlike MMM, AIM actually allows its distributors to sell health products, while it also incentives them to recruit new distributors through a multi-level marketing system.

AIM Global claims that its health products are produced by some of the top manufacturers of herbal supplements and vitamins in the US, Netherlands and Japan. These are namely Nature's Way, DSM and AMS Life Group, among others.


AIM sells health care products, and therefore its distributors' wealth creation business model creates incentive to sell the products. The argument for this kind of business is the fact that it is sustainable. 

So Which Should You Join?

We cannot give you a simple this or that answer. But look at it this way, if you want to make a quick buck, and you got to read this post early enough, then perhaps MMM is the better choice. But you must keep 2 things in mind if you join MMM:

1. You must not be too greedy enough to not pay attention. That is that MMM may not be able to sustain its business model infinitely. At a point, MMM's givers of help may pull out of the process, then the system crashes.

2. Related to 1 above, MMM has currently frozen the accounts of all its members in Nigeria. They claim that this is because they needed to go on a Christmas break. This scenario has naturally led to great panic among many MMM members who have "given help" and are expecting to "recieve help".

It shouldn't take a genius to figure out how this in itself could lead to a collapse of the system.

AIM is clearly the better choice if you are looking for a sustainable business. We have met many people who have resigned from well paid positions in the banking sector in Nigeria because they worked similar systems with GNLD and Swissguarde products. 

The only problem with this option is that it takes a bit of a while to start earning profit on your initial investment. It also requires you to be actively selling the products and recruiting distributors.

In fairness, people who engage in such MLM businesses like AIM and GNLD can actually even use MMM to generate the initial capital they need to start their AIM business.



As you can see this image from Google Trends, showing the search rate for the past 4 months shows that MMM Global has a lot more


So, tell us what you think about the two businesses.
Which would you recommend to your friends and family?
In fact, tell is if you think both of them are wrong for the African youth. 
We would love to hear your take..... (use the comments below to Disqus)

Also check out other Digital Africa's posts that seek to empower the young African.

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

The African Smart City

“Smart people, places, communities, businesses and governments work together to use the modern technologies that are changing our world to make it fairer and more sustainable in the process, giving everyone a better chance of a longer, healthier, happier and more fulfilling life.”
- Rick Robinson

Now Is The Time For Africa To Join The Smart Cities Revolution!

Which of these future scenarios would you prefer?
One future where the super rich politicians in the highest levels of government in Nigeria are chauffeured around in luxury cars that drive themselves while a robot nanny babysits their children at home?
Or would you prefer a future where even the poorest people in Mushin (rugged town within Lagos, Nigeria) enjoy the most comfortable air-conditioned public transport buses that run, not on petrol or diesel, but run mostly on the refuse that is collected day to day in that very town?

I would go for the second scenario. 

But it is not like I have something against robots or self-driving cars. Nor do I have anything against the rich merely for being rich (I hate the kleptomaniac politicians in Nigeria though).
It is because I agree with the Smart Cities ideology that technology should improve the quality of life for all people.

Along with renewable energy and storage, with the Semantic Web, and with future farming that is powered by data and a spirited African youth, the concept of building smarter cities has become one of the topics I am most interested in. 
I strongly believe that African political and business leaders should be incentivizing and driving policies and trends around these and other topics in transformative technology. 

And as usual, in the spirit of Africa Rising, I am to help stimulate the discussion for smart cities in Nigeria and all around Africa. This indeed falls into the mission of those of us who care about a Digital Africa - as the process of planning and implementing smart city projects would certainly cause tremendous increase in employment, skill acquisition and prosperity for the African youth. 

YESSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

But first, we must understand the reality and the prevalence of the problem. I am most certainly not about talking of a solution that seeks a problem to solve here.


Defining The Problem: 

Urbanization

Man can control how he plans a city. But man cannot yet control how people migrate from rural areas into any city they chose to migrate to.

When urbanization gets out of control, no matter how well the city was planned, bad things start happening.
Slums develop. Then crime. Costs of housing, transportation, and food go up. Collection and management of refuse (or waste) gets increasingly difficult. It's all pretty bad.

It would be wonderful if we could build cities with infrastructure that can be functionally "elastic" enough to stretch to fit the challenges of urbanization, wouldn't it?


Defining The Solution: 

Smarter Cities

A Smart City is planned primarily to improve the quality of life of the citizens that will dwell in it. It is judged to be "smart" because it relies on the use of digital technology to bring about such life's qualities.

Each smart city should share this common objective, yet different smart city projects would be planned and implemented differently from one another.
However, most smart city projects commonly focus on 5 main areas:

Transport, Waste Management, Energy, Food and Water Supply.

I should also mention that so far, I haven't come across any smart city project that doesn't assume that a smarter city must be a green city (i.e. powered primarily by renewable energy). I would imagine that climate change skeptics may not be quite as big on that particular pre-requisite of smart cities though.

Smart City Should Convert Refuse To Energy

Mitchell Joachim, an architect at Terraform One, considers the most crucial technological piece for a smart city to be a central system for converting waste (or refuse) to energy.

When you really think about this (especially those of us who live in Lagos, Nigeria), that would be a fantastic solution to have at the heart of our cities. We would be killing two really really ugly birds with one stone. 




Anyway, this "spirit" of getting power out of waste, or of bringing good things out of not-so-good things, is what smart cities are ultimately about.

Cheong koon Hean compares a smart city (or town) to a human body. She describes the buildings where activities take place to muscles, the roads to the veins and arteries which move traffic (like blood) from building to building. She also compares trees and parks to the human lungs which help to cleanse the air and give oxygen.  

Mrs Cheong then compares the sensor layer of a data-driven intelligence system to the five senses of the human body, which works with our central nervous system and brain by providing information about what happens in the environment so the human being can learn how to adapt.

Then there is Dr Rick Robinson (The Urban Technologist)


The Social Scientist Not Forgotten


I first got interested in the topic of smart cities through my friend, an architect and a lecturer at the University of Lagos, David Adio-Moses. Yet, it was reading Dr Robinson's blog that my eyes truly opened to the necessity of the idea.
This article from Robinson's blog could open your eyes as well. 

It is possible, perhaps, that the main reason why I like Dr Robinson's guide to smart cities so much is because of his regard for social scientists (of which I myself am a natural progeny).
Indeed, like the phenomenal professor and father of artificial intelligence's Deep Learning, Geoffrey Hinton, Robinson favours a world where social scientists take significant roles in the advancement of our species.   


So in conclusion, we are now no longer indifferent; in that we realize that the problems that come with urbanization are real. We also know that there can be solutions that can help our cities adapt and learn how to tame these problems of urbanization. 

It all requires lots of planning and smart technology to get on top of these problems. And the best way to begin this planning and to learn to use this technology properly is to join the global smart cities conversations. 

I will be writing more about smart cities in the future. I will also be thinking of ways in which the technologies that I am interested in, like the Blockchain and the Semantic Web can help solve some of these problems. 

Thanks for reading. 
Please offer your contributions to this topic below. Also link up with me on LinkedIn or on Twitter.
You already know where to find me on GooglePlus.

I leave you with this video for more on smart cities.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

What Is A Blockchain? Really!

If you have read my article that introduces Nigeria to Bitcoin, then you have a decent foundation for understanding this article.

So I am continuing in that introductory spirit with this piece on the blockchain, which is a crucial part of the Bitcoin universe.
I will try to keep this article short and reduce the jargon.



What Is The Bitcoin Blockchain?

The Blockchain is a publicly accessible ledger.
Or you might call it a kind of account book.

An account book that is open to anyone anywhere in the world

And yet, eventhough it is openly accessible to anyone for scrutiny on the Web, all of the records kept on this particular type of account book (unlike normal account books) do not carry the names or addresses of the account holders displayed within the rows of the ledger.  

The Blockchain merely organizes the accounts with identifiers known as public keys. And since an individual can own as many public keys as they like, this makes it possible for account holders on the Blockchain to be largely anonymous.

Now even though this may sound somewhat "shady" to some people, there are several reasons why anonymity of account holders can be a good thing. 
But I will look into that aspect of the Blockchain in later posts. So if you are more interested in that, then ensure that you let me know in the comments below, or simply follow this blog.►Click Here.

The Good Stuff


So now that you have an overview of the original Blockchain, or the Bitcoin Blockchain, let me give you an idea of the why this particular Blockchain is important, and why you must keep this in mind....

Unlike the other fake "blockchains"- that I would talk about in a moment, the Bitcoin Blockchain has sparked an unprecedented phase of proliferation of financial literacy and knowledge in online security. A phase that is rapidly becoming an era. A new era of enlightenment that could easily lead to a new age of innovation. 

World famous Bitcoin expert, Andreas Antonopoulos says it this way: 
"We are on the verge of a new transformation of money. The verge of creating the first completely global, completely borderless, completely decentralized and completely open."
The innovation is heading in a direction where we will build applications because this money is programmable. The Bitcoin Blockchain is about the "internet of money".
Think about this for a minute.


You don't need to ask anyone's permission to launch an application on the internet of money anymore than you need permission to launch an application on the internet.
And this is happening on a global scale. 


Antonopoulos insists that the other blockchains cannot cause this kind of exponential innovation.
I tend to agree with him. 

The Growing Blockchain Brouhaha


Even though there might be many blockchains today, the first ever Blockchain came from Satoshi Nakamoto's Bitcoin whitepaper
The ones that I refer to as fake blockchains are those that were launched by and for the benefit of the existing big banks of the developed world. The good news though, is that of recent, they have stopped using the word, "blockchain" for those contraptions of recent. Yet, during those days of the financial sector's frenzy, they made it very clear what they were trying to do. You often heard them say things like, "Bitcoin is dead, the blockchain is the future" or the most popular one, "the true genius of bitcoin is not bitcoin itself - it is the blockchain".

Talk about wishful thinking...

Nakamoto

The Bitcoin inventor did not actually use the term, "blockchain" in his paper, but it is easy to see how it caught on when you read through the 9-page document.

Nakamoto actually uses the words "block" and "chain" separately and frequently as he tries to explain his proposed system of using a highly secure, chronological order of transactions on a global public ledger.
He created this publicly accessible, decentralized global account book to ensure that no government could issue more of the currency or impose restrictions on it. 

I know that may be confusing, but do stay with me, let me simplify it.

It was important to Nakamoto that his new digital cash would not need to go through a financial institution to pass from person to person. He believed it was crucial to develop a system that behaves more or less like physical cash in the sense that it would not require people needing to use a third party (financial institution - who, themselves use another party - Interswitch in Nigeria) to confidently carry out a transaction.

You don't need to trust a complete stranger if he paid you 350,000 Naira for your old and dying Toyota Corolla.
All you need is to count the money and see that the notes are not fake naira notes. Right?

Of course.

But in this case, if the bitcoins come into your public bitcoin address (or account), and then you choose not to deliver his car to him, then that becomes another matter. Just as such a scenario is also possible with real cash. 


The Blockchain And Timestamps

"Commerce on the Internet has come to rely almost exclusively on financial institutions serving as trusted third parties...What is needed is an electronic payment system based on cryptographic proof instead of trust, allowing any two willing parties to transact directly with each other without the need for a trusted third party"
- Satoshi Nakamoto

But after Nakamoto had successfully created a way that cash value would pass from person to person (peer to peer), he needed to ensure that the money could not be duplicated, or that the already spent money would not be spent again by the payer.


"The problem of course is the payee can't verify that one of the owners did not double-spend the coin...We need a way for the payee to know that the previous owners did not sign any earlier transactions"
"The solution we (Nakamoto) propose begins with a timestamp server. A timestamp server works by taking a hash of a block of items to be timestamped and widely publishing the hash, such as in a newspaper...The timestamp proves that the data must have existed at the time, obviously, in order to get into the hash. Each timestamp includes the previous timestamp in its hash, forming a chain, with each additional timestamp reinforcing the ones before it" 
Please, if you don't understand what is meant by "hash", you can ignore that for now. Only keep in mind that by using the highest technology in internet security to ascertain the exact time a transaction was done, they are able to create this innovation known as the Blockchain.

So here is the layman's summary of all of these:

The bitcoins that people will be sending and spending are generated by the Bitcoin software. That software ensures that they had to be timestamped onto the global account book known today as the Blockchain. All of these processes are open to scrutiny by all (auditors, software developers, account holders, and anyone who cares).

The Bitcoin software, with help from the its network of users (or nodes), manages the Blockchain and ensures the integrity of the bitcoins on it.   


So bitcoins need the Blockchain, and the Blockchain needs bitcoin. This is an important statement to keep in mind going forward, as you come across other blogs and articles that will want to teach you about "blockchains". Of which many of them will try to first dazzle you with eloquent speech and bragging of years of experience in international banks mixed with PhDs in computer science and all that.

The truth is, regardless of their qualifications, these big tlkers cannot build an aircraft using concrete as a primary component and then expect it to compare with one that was well thought through from the start.

Nakamoto was motivated to invent Bitcoin's Blockchain to solve a problem. These other so-called blockchains are coming from those who created that problem to start with.

I took this rant a bit further in my LinkedIn Post. See it here ► My LinkedIn Rant


Saturday, 10 September 2016

A Nigerian Introduction To Bitcoin

If you are reading this article, it means you are probably interested in learning more about Bitcoin or its Blockchain.
And if you are a Nigerian, or any English speaking African for that matter, then you have come to the right place.

Here, I will be crunching all of the technical jargon and explaining the plain facts about Bitcoin in layman's English.
Much later on, I will go slightly deeper in explaining the Blockchain. (That article is now available by the way - click here)

Meanwhile, beyond that, I will be exposing how Bitcoin relates to the other transformative digital technologies that I have been following (including the Semantic Web, Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data Analytics, etc).


But for now, let us talk about Bitcoin....


What Is Bitcoin?

First of all it is not a coin.
It is a cryptocurrency. It is also a kind of software.

Started in 2009, Bitcoin was meant to bring to the world, an anonymous, person to person transfer of money on the internet. It was designed to behave very similar to the way actual cash behaves. 
It is also meant to do this while bearing very low transaction costs for the sender, in comparison to current online banking transactions.
They call it the Money Transfer Protocol of the internet.

But before I come to explain the meaning of cryptocurrency, let me first of all mention that there are two distinct ways to look at Bitcoin:

There is bitcoin the currency (spelled with a small 'b').
And there is Bitcoin the software and protocol. So kindly take note of the difference in the usage of either small or capital letter 'B'.



The Bitcoin Software

The Bitcoin software was originally designed by a computer developer known as Satoshi Nakamoto. He designed it to manage a very high security peer to peer network using a technique known as public key cryptography

It is this cryptographic technique employed by the Bitcoin software that gives the bitcoin currency a very high level of security from hacking or theft as it is transferred from person to person throughout the internet. This cryptographic technique usage is the reason why it is called a cryptocurrency.

What Is a Cryptocurrency?

It is a kind of virtual currency that mostly tries to behave like cash, but with other programmable functions. On the internet, bitcoins can be sent or transferred from person to person like cash moves from hand to hand, without the need of a bank or  any other middle-man. 

Everyone understands how cash works: We see our naira notes, South African rand and US dollars as currency.
They are legal tender each within their respective countries.

You can confidently hand over the keys and the documents of your old car to someone if they give you raw cash.
As long as we can tell that the cash notes are not fake, we readily accept them as payment for anything.

However, whenever we have gathered lots of this cash, we no longer trust ourselves enough to keep all of it safe. Therefore we take most of it to the bank (a middle-man).
This is because we trust those banks, and we trust our government's central bank to protect the value of our money.




Trusted Third Parties 

Nevertheless, some people have argued that all the trust we place in these third parties (like banks) is a little too much, and therefore easily abused. Bitcoin was invented to remove this need to trust any human being or organization with our money.

This is why bitcoins acceptance is growing around the world at an increasing rate, and its value is increasing along with it. Many bitcoin users around the world no longer trust their government or their banks. Instead they trust the Bitcoin software because of its cutting-edge security and faith that its global value will continue growing in future. 

Meanwhile cryptocurrencies have much more functionality than normal money. For example, bitcoins are designed to be spent anywhere in the world. This is because it is completely decentralized and has no ties to any one country's central bank. 


As emails are to letters, so are bitcoins to cash

We know that emails do exactly what posted letters do, but also that emails can do a lot more than paper letters.
Apart from the speed of an email and the fact that you can send the same email to many people at the same time, emails can also have attachments in them, which can be videos or other digital media. 
Letters cannot do anything like this. 

So also cryptocurrencies have several functionalities that paper cash does not have. And I will look into these in a future post. But for now, some of those include assigning additional values to your money, ensuring the money behaves in a specific way, creating and enforcing legally binding contracts without the high cost of lawyers, etc. 

Not A Ponzi Scheme

Now, for those who are asking whether Bitcoin is a ponzi scheme, some zealous websites out there are selling ponzi schemes while using the word 'bitcoin' to draw attention to themselves.
It is very important to note that Bitcoin has nothing to do with these ponzi schemes or any other kind of network marketing schemes. 

Ponzi schemes are fraudulent businesses that use multi-level marketing (MLM) strategies that give the early investors a hope of getting rich quickly by inviting other investors (or down-lines). Ultimately, the business isn't selling any product of actual value, and at the end of the day, only the earliest investors earn any profit.  

Investing in bitcoins on the other hand, means that you are simply collecting virtual currency that has been increasing in real monetary value (it started as $0 in 2009; now worth $624 as of today), and allows you to spend and receive money from across international borders without needing a bank, or Western Union, and their typically exorbitant transaction fees.

This can be very good for Africa.
But also take note that I am not saying that Bitcoin is perfect, or that you should go and invest everything you have in it.
No. Certainly not. Please always be careful with how you digest information. 

What I am really saying here is that I think it is quite important to, at least, pay close attention to it, as Bitcoin looks like a world changing technology in the making. 


Bitcoin And The Blockchain

Now, Bitcoin is primarily a software that secures the bitcoin currency. It also sets it immutability.
By this I mean that once a bitcoin has been spent online or transferred, it cannot be reversed. 
The only way you can get a bitcoin back after sending it to someone is if that person agrees to send it back to you in another transaction.

The Bitcoin software governs this highly controlled and secure behavior of bitcoins thanks to the blockchain
The blockchain is a kind of database or ledger that records and stored all bitcoin transactions and is protected by cryptography, and is publicly and transparently maintained by the entire growing Bitcoin network of users.


I will write more about this blockchain and other blockchains in the future. I will try to explain some of its technical aspects in simple terms and also show examples of where the technology is already being used. This is because I believe that Africa needs an early invitation to come and learn one of the likely leading technologies of the next digital revolution and fourth industrial revolution. Blockchain technology is in my opinion, perhaps even more important than the Internet of Things, than Smart Cities, or than the Semantic Web.


What's Next With Bitcoin?

A lot!
As though the future wasn't already promising a lot of major digital technological wonders, Bitcoin has come and added a new dimension.

The recent success of Bitcoin across continents has not only raised the value of the currency and its usage and acceptance, it has also sparked off the development of other cryptocurrencies, each with their own blockchains. 
And of course, you can expect that I would be following these trends. 

Some have argued that the value of one Bitcoin could eventually reach $ 1 million by 2025. But such speculations are not my concern. I focus on understanding and analyzing the technology and especially how it can be useful to Africans and to Nigeria. 

I will encourage you to follow this blog if you wish to learn more about the future of money. Or you can also find my other articles in newspapers by searching on Google for "Rotimi Orimoloye Bitcoin News" or "Rotimi Orimoloye Digital Africa". 
if you are interested in other digital technologies and how such information and knowledge can improve the quality of life of Africans.

So what are you waiting for? Go and start getting your bitcoins!
And if you don't have enough money to buy the minimum of $10 worth of coins, the good news is that there are a few websites that give out free bitcoins. Not much, but enough to get you started with Bitcoin and to transfer small change among your friends, just to know how Bitcoin works. Here is one of such websites

Please ensure that you set up a Bitcoin Wallet and get your Address before you can claim your free bitcoins/satoshi.

If you have any questions about this topic or anything to add to this article, please feel free to use the comments below. I am always happy to engage in the conversations that can more Africa forward.






Tuesday, 30 August 2016

The ZMOT And The Angry Salesman

Many people have come up with various definitions of the zero moment of truth. And perhaps some of these characterizations are more “equal” than others
But for now, let me convey to you the one that I consider to be the most significant.

Google’sJim Lecinski describes the ZMOT as “a new decision-making moment that takes place a hundred million times a day on mobile phones, laptops and wired devices of all kinds. It’s a moment where marketing happens, where information happens, and where consumers make choices that affect the success and failure of nearly every brand in the world”.

Try to imagine this scenario: A woman on her iPad at home, going through different web pages, trying to learn about the features of different models of electric cars to know which one would be most suitable for her.

Or try to guess why a man would type the following words into a search engine; “high quality HD web cams for video conferencing”?

Now, if you were the marketer for a company like Tesla Motors (which manufactures electric cars) or Logitech (who make web cameras), you really should be doing something about these kind of searches, shouldn’t you?


Ever since I was studying Mass Communication at the University of Lagos (Nigeria) I’ve been hearing people use the cliché, “Information is power”. (Perhaps even before I got into college)

But if you pause to really think about it, I would ask you, “why exactly is information powerful?”
What can you do with it when you have it?
And is it under every circumstance that being informed is powerful?

In my opinion, in marketing, it is using the right information with a proper mix of previous knowledge and skills that gives you true power, and a clear advantage over the rest of your industry.

Once upon a time, in the earliest days of  color tv, television advertisements were very entertaining to viewers. There were not so many options of tv shows or channels, and therefore the commercials themselves were part of the enjoyable variety. 

Fast forward several decades, and some of these ads became annoying and interruption to most tv viewers. 

And yet, these days, people can actually go deliberately looking for a particular advert if it contains some specific information they are looking for.

A marketer has to be able to THINK in the proper context and in the spirit of the times he is living in. 

Now, permit me to give you an example as to why you can no longer afford to think like you used to do in the past.

This is a true story by the way:


THE ANGRY SALESMAN


Sometime at the end of January last year, I was with a client at her office. She had gotten information about some man who had just returned from the US and who was looking to sell a Canon Rebel series camera.

My client is in the tv production business, so she wanted to learn more about the capabilities and the features of the camera, so she called him and she asked him some questions in order to learn more.

Then at a certain point during their conversation, it suddenly occurred to my client to ask me to help her do a Google search on the particular model of the camera that the man wanted to sell. So the man read to her the specific model inscription on the device.

Now, while I was doing the search, she was still asking the man if the camera could handle HD video recording and some other things. She had even sent one of her staff cameramen to drive all the way to the man’s house, to take a look at the camera on her behalf.

In anycase, the man couldn’t answer her questions because he didn’t really know much about cameras or about filming. He was just some guy who bought some camera from the US and wished to sell it at a profit.

Yet, I was answering her questions for her by reading the online reviews and specifications of the particular camera. 
All we really ever needed was to get him to read to her the EXACT model description of the camera he had with him, which he did, and that was all I needed to get all of the information she needed.

But as soon as he found out that my client had been checking-up the camera online, he suddenly got really angry, and started to yell at my client, saying that she was wasting his time. This in-turn made my client upset, and because of how the man was acting, she lost interest in buying his camera altogether.

Now, do you think the man was right to act that way?

I think he was not very mindful of the Zero Moment Of Truth.
I also noticed that he had failed to realize that his product was actually a top of the range model - it was a Canon EOS 700D / Rebel T5i.

Sadly for him, he was trying to sell it off as just a mere “Canon Rebel” camera. At least that was what he kept saying until my client dug for more details from him.  
If he wasn’t so foolhardy, he could have made a quick sale, as all the things my client was looking for in the camera (which he couldn’t answer) were right there in the list of specifications and features online.

He failed to realize that there just aren’t that many people left today, who would just up and write you a cheque without first doing some of their own home work about what you are selling.

Worst of all, he had no way of knowing that I was actually telling his potential customer (my client) that his camera was in fact a great bargain for her, based on my online searches at that point. 


His ignorance of the reality of this ZMOT behavior caused him to lose his temper; which in turn, caused him to lose a sale.

So, the moral of the story?

Always expect your potential customers to do their homework about whatever it is you're selling. Stop assuming that you can sell stuff by merely insisting, "Buy it, because it is the best, and I want you to." 

Allow them do their homework, but try as much as is in your power to be the there, whispering in their ears, wherever they are doing this homework. Most of the time it will be on the internet at a conceptual place called the zero moment of truth. 

For more reading on the ZMOT, kindly check out my other post with Nigerian examples. 





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